Soko Matsumura

+44 (0) 1382 386560
Lecturer in Physics and Dundee Fellow


Dr Soko Matsumura is a theoretical astrophysicist, and her research primarily focuses on formation, evolution, and dynamics of planetary systems. She uses both numerical and analytical techniques to study problems that are often motivated by recent observations. In particular, she is interested in investigating the origins of orbital architecture of planetary systems, and the imprints of past orbital evolution of planetary systems on the observed systems. She is also interested in the physical processes that shape the circumstellar disks and the debris disks.

She obtained her PhD in Physics & Astronomy under the supervision of Prof Ralph Pudritz at McMaster University (Canada). From 2006 to 2009, she was a postdoctoral researcher with Prof Fred Rasio at Northwestern University (USA). In 2009, she was awarded a Prize Fellowship of the Astronomy Center for Theory and Computation at the University of Maryland (USA). She joined the University of Dundee as a Dundee Fellow and a Lecturer in September 2013.

Research Interests

  • Formation, Evolution, and Dynamics of Planetary Systems
  • Origins and Characteristics of Close-in Planets
  • Small Bodies in the Solar System
  • Magnetic Fields and Accretion Disks
  • Evolution of Circumstellar Disks


  • K. Zhang, D. P. Hamilton, and S. Matsumura, Secular Orbital Evolution of Compact Planet Systems, 2013, ApJ (in print)
  • S. Matsumura, S. Ida, and M. Nagasawa, Effects of Dynamical Evolution of Giant Planets on Survival of Terrestrial Planets, 2013, ApJ, 767, 129
  • T. Currie, J. Debes, T. J. Rodigas, A. Burrows, Y. Itoh, M. Fukagawa, S. Kenyon, M. Kuchner, and S. Matsumura, Direct Imaging Confirmation and Characterization of a Dust-Enshrouded Candidate Exoplanet Orbiting Fomalhaut, 2012, ApJL, 760, 32
  • T. Currie, M. Fukagawa, C. Thalmann, and S. Matsumura et al., Direct Detection and Orbital Analysis of the Exoplanets HR 8799 bcd from Archival 2005 Keck/NIRC2 Data, 2012, ApJL, 755, 34
  • T. Currie, C. Thalmann, S. Matsumura, and N. Madhusudhan et al., A 5mm Image of b Pictoris b at a Sub-Jupiter Projected Separation: Evidence for a Misalignment Between the Planet and the Inner, Warped Disk, 2011, ApJ, 736, 33
  • T. Currie, A. Burrows, Y. Itoh, and S. Matsumura et al., A Combined SUBARU/VLT/MMT 1-5 mM Study of Planets Orbiting HR 8799: Implications for Atmospheric Properties, Masses, and Formation, 2011, ApJ, 729, 128
  • S. Matsumura, S. J. Peale, and F. A. Rasio, Tidal Evolution of Close-in Planets, 2010, ApJ, 725, 1995
  • S. Matsumura, E. W. Thommes, S. Chatterjee, and F. A. Rasio, Unstable Planetary Systems Emerging out of Gas Disks, 2010, ApJ, 714, 194
  • S. Matsumura, R. E. Pudritz, and E. W. Thommes, The Growth & Migration of Jovian Planets in Evolving Protostellar Disks with Dead Zones, 2009, ApJ, 691, 1764
  • S. Matsumura, G. Takeda, and F. A. Rasio, On the Origins of Eccentric Close-In Planets, 2008, ApJL, 686, 29
  • S. Chatterjee, E. B. Ford, S. Matsumura, and F. A. Rasio, Dynamical Outcomes of Planet-Planet Scattering, 2008, ApJ, 686, 580
  • E. W. Thommes, S. Matsumura, and F. A. Rasio, Gas Disks to Gas Giants, 2008, Science, 321, 814
  • S. Matsumura, R. E. Pudritz, and E. W. Thommes, Saving Planetary Systems: Dead Zones and Planetary Migration, 2007, ApJ, 660, 1609
  • S. Matsumura, and R. E. Pudritz, Dead Zones and Extrasolar Planetary Properties, 2006, MNRAS, 365, 572
  • S. Matsumura, and R. E. Pudritz, Dead Zones and the Origin of Planetary Masses, 2005, ApJL, 618, 137
  • R. E. Pudritz and S. Matsumura,Dead Zones and the Formation of Jovian Planets, 2004, RMxAC, 22, 108
  • S. Matsumura, and R. E. Pudritz, The Origin of Jovian Planets in Protostellar Disks: The Role of Dead Zones, 2003, ApJ, 598, 645